Behind Janelle Monae’s Towering Met Gala Top Knot

The Met Gala is one of the biggest nights for Hollywood celebrities and designers looking to showcase their talents through immaculate styling and visual concepts. True to the annual May event, celebrities flocked to the streets of New York City to honor the late Karl Lagerfeld with an array of ensembles that paid homage to his fashion legacy. Janelle Monae attended the event with an eye-catching top knot hairstyle, courtesy of Mielle Organics products. Celebrity stylist Nikki Nelms takes us behind the scenes and shares her secrets to creating this runway-worthy look. 

Janelle’s super tall, structural top knot was inspired by her exaggerated tweed tuxedo by Thom Browne. “We really wanted to make this look special” Nelms said, “since this will be the first Met Gala where her hair will be visible since 2017.”

How Janelle’s Top Knot was Created

How to Prep Hair for a Top Knot

Prep for Janelle’s 2023 Met Gala hairstyle started with a calming wash using the Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo and Conditioner. This shampoo works into a luxurious lather and has an amazing scent. It cleans without stripping away moisture and pre-detangles curly hair, while the conditioner helps to achieve shiny, smooth-to-the-touch hair.

Once towel dried, I misted her hair with Mielle’s White Peony Leave-In Conditioner, and then I followed with the Mielle Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray before blow drying.

How to style the top knot

To style, I used the Mielle Avocado & Tamanu Anti-Frizz Stay Straight Serum before lightly straightening the hair.

I made a secure ponytail base to start then added wire and wrapped the hair around to create the height and structure.

After the hair was up and sleek, I applied the Mielle Rice Water & Aloe Braid Gel. It was perfect to get a nice smooth base braid.

I pulled pieces out throughout the updo and re-wrapped into knots around the pre-wrapped hair to add dimension and depth.

I finished with the Pomegranate & Honey Blend Super Hold Edge Gel to get those edges laid down. 

The final look led to a tall cylinder like structure.

Want more? Check out 33 more stunning hairstyles from the Met Gala 2023.

Desiree Johnson

Desiree is a passionate writer who loves to advocate for multiracial and diverse audiences in her writing. She enjoys writing and creating content that challenges and inspires people whether that's through a blog or social media management. As a Content Specialist in Austin, Texas she writes marketing content to help people improve their websites. She is passionate about diversity, education, and looks forward to developing compelling content with brands she loves.

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